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Patients are typically referred to the ICU from another hospital department as a part of their inpatient treatment. They may also be referred from the Emergency Department. The caregivers at the ICU coordinate with the referring department in order to identify the medical issues that need to be addressed.
Treatment in the Intensive Care Unit
The treatment of life-threatening critical illnesses requires an expert in intensive care medicine. Depending on the patient’s condition, the intensive care consultant may order imaging studies like x-rays, CT scans, or echocardiograms. Frequent blood test monitoring is also an integral part of illness management in the ICU.
Patients in the ICU will usually be kept sedated to help manage pain. Antibiotics may be administered to help control infection, and blood thinners may also be used to prevent clots. External breathing machines are used to provide support for patients having difficulty breathing on their own.
The ICU includes a multidisciplinary team of physicians, nurses, and other care providers, all with extensive experience in the management of critical illnesses: